Translations: Chinese GB Big5

Holy, Holy, Holy

Isaiah 6:1b-4

1 I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted,
and the train of his robe filled the temple.
Above him were seraphs, each with six wings:
With two wings they covered their faces,
with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.
And they were calling to one another:
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and
thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

A Revelation of Jesus Christ

John writes in John 12:38-41 Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again:  "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them." These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him. There John quotes Isaiah 6:9,10 indicating that John is saying that these verses here referring to the LORD are referring to Jesus Christ. Jesus is the LORD.

The Lord's Robe

With the Lord's robe filling the temple it's not possible to step into the temple without stepping on his robe. This illustrates that the Lord is lord of the whole temple. As previously noted Uzziah had tried to usurp the authority of the priests in the temple, essentially making himself lord of the temple. Individually and corporally we are the Lord's temple. (1Cor 3:16; Eph 2:21) Therefore let us behave appropriately. "He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." 2Cor 5:15

Holy, Holy, Holy

A triune saying for the Triune God. This is perhaps the most outstanding characteristic manifest when one is in the presence of God. A similar event is recorded in Revelation 4:8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." Holy means not simply that God is sinless or that he despises the presence of sin, but more generally that he is separate and distinct in all aspects. Thus for example God alone is to be worshipped and no other. God alone created the heavens and earth and is independent from His creation. Under the Law of Moses "holiness" was allegorized in the utensils used in religious ceremonies and holy days, "Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean; and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them." Ezekiel 22:26  Here we get the sense concerning things not holy that it is not that they are sinful, but more generally that they are common and ordinary. We treat our relationship with God in an unholy manner if we treat Him in the same manner as we treat any other ordinary relationship. This affects how we present the gospel. I don't think we should be so vague as to say that to be a Christian is to have a personal relationship with God, which is a common Evangelical expression. For people could misconstrue such to refer to an ordinary common relationship such as you have with another person. It is a holy relationship with God which characterizes the true Christian life, not simply a common personal relationship.

The whole earth is full of his glory

God's glory is reflected in his creation. For example man is in the image and glory of God (1Cor 11:7). So also "There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory." 1Cor 15:40,41

The temple was filled with smoke

I've heard a pastor once say that when there is mist in the pulpit there's fog in the pew. Of course he means that when he personally is not clear in his own mind on an issue, then it's going to be perceived still foggier when he tries to communicate it. But perhaps there is some correlation here. This manifestation of smoke, fog or cloud God used elsewhere in the scriptures. The people of Israel were led through the desert by a cloud. And in fact Isaiah mentioned this in chapter 4 saying, "Then the LORD will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy." Isaiah 4:5 And we notice a close similarity to the Isaiah passage here and what occurred on Mount Sinai where Moses received the Law. "Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently" Ex 19:18  And in Rev 15:8 "And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power" And notice also a correlation between these and His anger "In my distress I called to the LORD; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears. The earth trembled and quaked, the foundations of the heavens shook; they trembled because he was angry.  Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it." 2Sam 22:7-9 A cloud filling the temple is also associated with God's glory, as in the dedication of the first temple. "And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple. Then Solomon said, 'The LORD has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud.'" 1Kings 8:11-12 (Note that God sometimes hinders us from serving Him to put us in awe of Himself, much as also in the Martha/Mary incident) The cloud is associated with God's holiness. Numbers 16:42 "But when the assembly gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron and turned toward the Tent of Meeting, suddenly the cloud covered it and the glory of the LORD appeared."

The cloud and smoke represent God's intentional vagueness as to our knowledge of Him. And even as a Christian Paul expresses this truth saying, "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." 1Cor 13:12 In one sense this vagueness limits our genuine worship of God. The implications of calling God holy cannot be fully comprehended in the present. But we can genuinely acknowledge what God has revealed to us about Himself, and as we obey Him more is revealed. (John 14:21)

The doorposts and thresholds shook

These refer to the entry ways into the temple. It is a fearful thing to enter into the presence of the holy God. And thus we understand Isaiah's reaction, which is the subject of the next meditation.


The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources Jul 29,2015